Everett Withers will be the new head coach at James Madison, sources tell FootballScoop.
Withers has spent the past the past two seasons as Ohio State’s assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach. He is the first assistant to depart from Urban Meyer’s staff in Columbus, a group that has gone 24-1 over the past two seasons.
This will be Withers’ first full-time head coaching job after putting in more than a quarter-century in the profession. He served as North Carolina’s interim head coach in 2011, leading the Tar Heels to a 7-6 record in between the Butch Davis and Larry Fedora regimes. Prior to that, Withers served as the defensive coordinator at North Carolina (2008-10) and Minnesota (2007), and as the defensive backs coach for the Tennessee Titans (2001-06) and at Texas (1998-00).
A Charlotte native and a 1985 Appalachian State graduate, Withers jumped into coaching in 1988 as the defensive coordinator at Austin Peay, and then spent one season coaching special teams and wide receivers for the Governors before moving on to coach Tulane (1991, outside linebackers), Southern Miss (1992-93, defensive backs), the New Orleans Saints (1994, defensive quality control) and Louisville (1995-97, defensive coordinator).
Withers inherits a Dukes team that went 6-6 this season, but dropped four of its final five games after getting off to a 5-2 start. James Madison competes in the CAA and has commissioned a study exploring the benefits of moving to the FBS, but has not made a final decision at this time.
Withers is the 15th FCS head coach to be hired this season from a pool of 24 total openings. Alabama A&M, Central Connecticut State, The Citadel, Eastern Illinois, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, Morgan State, North Dakota and Rhode Island remain open at this time.